The dedication crests an ambitious period of growth through the past decade.
Riding a never-ending swell of expansion for the religion, the Church of Scientology cut the ribbon on a new Ideal Organization (Org), Saturday, February 22, along this slice of surfing paradise. The first Ideal Org devoted to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties opened before an exuberant audience of some 4,000 Scientologists, guests and federal, state and local dignitaries.
For the 100,000 daily commuters motoring on the 101, the glass-encased, new Church gleams as an unmistakable beacon of freedom just minutes from Downtown Ventura and Surfers Point, and but 500 yards from the San Buenaventura State Beach. At 66,000 square feet, the expansive and striking structure provides the capacity to immediately multiply many fold the Church’s outreach and services to the hundreds of thousands who call this stretch of coastline home.
Leading the grand celebration was Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. In recognition of Ventura and Santa Barbara’s longstanding partnership with Church-sponsored social betterment and humanitarian programs, a series of luminaries from Port Hueneme to Montecito converged to lend a passionate welcome at the new Ideal Org’s inauguration.
Joining the Scientology parishioners and Church officials were Councilman Steven Gama, from the City of Port Hueneme, Ventura County; Sharon Byrne, Advisor to the 4th District of Santa Barbara County; John Chavez, Voluntary Agency Liaison, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and Barbara Gaughen-Muller, President of the Tri-County United Nations Association.
In highlighting the Church’s work toward environmental responsibility, Councilman Gama described L. Ron Hubbard’s nonreligious moral guide, The Way to Happiness, as having “the power to get people into action.” He went on to state: “Your Way to Happiness volunteers have already been out with us all along Ormond Beach at our cleanups. From early morning until we’re done for the day, you are there taking care of our precious environment and helping it to thrive.… So not only will this new Church help preserve all that is good about our incredible home, it will be a beacon inspiring an even better environment, better neighbors and a better community for us all.”
The striking new facility provides the region with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Center. Its displays, containing more than 500 films, present the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion and the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian programs—including a worldwide human rights education initiative, far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, which has become one of the world’s largest independent relief forces. The Center is open morning to night for visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.
This past decade has seen the opening of new Ideal Orgs across the US, including New York City, Harlem, Buffalo, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. The opening of Ventura’s new Ideal Org marks the 12th to open in the state of California—Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Gatos, San Jose, Silicon Valley, San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Inglewood, Orange County and San Diego.
To disseminate Scientology’s message still further and answer the interest about the religion, the Church launched its own satellite TV channel, Scientology Network, on DIRECTV Channel 320, which also live streams at scientology.tv, as well as on multiple platforms in 17 languages across 24 time zones.